We looked at the home values for various politicians to get an idea of how they live. With the idea it will let voters know if the people representing them are out of touch or know their plight.
How the other half live is a driving force in our society.
From the elaborate cars and toys to their homes, people are fascinated at what they uncover.
We’ve seen the homes of celebrities all over the world.
From movie stars to musicians, we know where they live and how much their palaces are worth.
It’s both fun and maddening to see what you find.
It’s legal stalking.
We wanted to look into the homes of the people who have a direct influence on your life: Politicians and even those who talk about it.
Don’t think those who have talk shows change the debate or influence the people in control? That’s been going on since the media became an entity. Aside from money, it’s the most powerful form of lobbying.
The taxes you pay in each paycheck and the interest rates on your mortgage are just a few of the things that have a direct impact on you.
You can tell a lot about a person by the place they call home. That is why we did this project. To give people (and voters) an idea of how those who represent them live. To give you an idea of how those who talk about the issues live.
This is a comparison between Democrats and Republicans.
Of the two parties, who really gets it?
Of the two, who is out of touch?
The two like to talk a lot about who “knows the people.”
This gives you an idea if what they say carries water or it dumps all over the floor.
That includes pundits.
As real estate investors, we utilize tools that everyone can use – they just don’t know they exist.
If you have an address, tools such as Zillow allow people to see how much homes are worth and how big they are.
It’s a resource that real estate investors use all the time to get an idea of the properties around them and what they’re really worth so they know what they’re dealing with.
For you, it allows you to see how much the homes in your neighborhood are worth and then compare them to your home.
It’s a great resource to have at your disposal and it’s easy.
Just 10 years ago, this service wasn’t available. If you wanted to get this information, you had to go to the Clerk and Recorder’s office for each county.
Let’s look at Rush Limbaugh.
The conservative talk radio show host has an estate in Palm Beach, Fl.., that cashes in at close to $50 million.
You read that right.
His 22,630-square foot estate right on the beach is worth $49.7 million. It has seven bedrooms and 13 bathrooms on 2.26 acres.
Last year, Limbaugh paid $486,221 in property taxes.
It would take the average American household over 9.5 years just to pay the yearly taxes on his palace.
Some hotels aren’t that big.
Let’s compare to that to his antithesis on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow.
Her condo/apartment in Downtown Manhattan is worth $1.25 million.
Maddow’s home is an approximate 1,325-square-foot condo. It has two bedrooms, five rooms and one bathroom.
It’s obvious she paid for location since her pad is located in the West Village that overlooks the Hudson River.
Still, there are dorm rooms bigger than that.
Limbaugh’s small city obviously sways the overall results.
And when it comes to comparison, there isn’t any between the two.
When it comes to presidents, Democrats have the lead with ease.
Our current president is tied to two properties in Chicago that are worth $603k and $187k, respectively.
The first is a 1,440-square foot condo on a 6,500-square foot lot. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The second he’s tied to is 1,345 square feet on a 5,040-acre foot lot.
Yes, he lives in the White House as we speak, but he should have something more grandiose than that.
Look no further than former President Bill Clinton.
He and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have two properties in New York and Washington D.C. that both ring in at least $4.4 million.
The first, in Chappaqua, NY, is 5,232 square feet on a 1.13-acre lot. It has five bedroom, four bathrooms and values at $4.49 million.
The second, in Washington, is 5,152 square feet on a 0.34-acre lot. It has four bedrooms, seven bathrooms and values at $5.47 million.
One could perceive this as a complete 180 from Obama.
One estate that big is tough for some to comprehend. But two that size, most will never understand.
Former President George W. Bush has his ranch in Crawford, Texas, close to Waco. No listing is available so we all had to go on was how much he paid for the ranch, which was $1.3 million.
The results give you a good idea of how things stand for our former presidents. They do well for themselves, to say the least.
Aside from Limbaugh, when it comes to most valuable, that distinction goes to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Two of his properties in southern California ring in at $15.1 and $12.9 million, respectively.
The first home in Los Angeles is 14,500 square feet on a 5.83-acre lot. It has seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.
The second home in the Pacific Palisades is only listed as a property on a 1.12-acre lot.
Schwarzenegger also has two more homes priced at $2.72 and $3.63 million. When you look at the total value of home values for governors, he obviously sways it a lot.
The most interesting topic in this set of political figures rests with Sarah Palin.
The former Alaska Governor has addresses that link her to four places, all in Alaska.
The most valuable of them is $624k.
The other three? Try two at $270k and one at $329k.
Current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s most valued is $2.06 million.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has two, valued at $4.43 and $4.59 million.
Yes, $624k is a lot of money.
But it’s not even close to that of Christie or Romney.
Why do you think that is?
Is Palin more frugal with her money?
Is property in Alaska cheaper?
Democratic governors were a little harder to find but we found them.
Current California Governor Jerry Brown owns a home in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in San Francisco Bay. In 2010, it was valued at $1.8 million. It has five levels and is perched high in the Oakland Hills. Brown also has a one-bedroom, 1,450-square foot loft in Downtown Sacramento that typically rents for anywhere between $750 and $1,500 a month.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper lives in the prestigious Park Hill area of east Denver. This is the same neighborhood that former NBA champion Chauncey Billups lives in. The median listing price of homes in that community is $637,240.
Current Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick sold his Milton home in December for $1.5 million. He also has a home in the Berkshires in Richmond. While we couldn’t track down the exact amount, he built the 7,500-square foot home on 77 acres in 2006. He bought the lot for $472,500. It has eight bedrooms, nine full bathrooms, four fire places and a pool. In 2008, it was assessed at $2.2 million. Homes in the vicinity of Patrick’s home value between $639k and $2 million.
Take away the Governator and it’s one of the most interesting groups to look at.
Are the Republican governors that much better at business than the Democrats?
Are Democratic governors more concerned with the politics and issues while the Republicans get bored with their business life?
The title of most properties goes to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
He’s listed as having 10 properties spread across New York and one in Vail, Colo.
Only two of the properties have listings and a price value.
The first, in North Castle, NY, is valued at $1.3 million and is on a 4.55-acre lot.
The other, in New York City, is valued at $2.7 million. No other information is provided for this property.
Aside from the property in Vail, all of Bloomberg’s properties are in New York.
Is he Batman?
Are some of them hideouts?
Does he have a home in each borough so he can beat traffic?
One of the most interesting aspects of this is the vice presidents.
The current Vice President Joe Biden is tied to seven properties in Delaware with only three having listings. They range from $181k to $2.15 million.
Dick Cheney is listed as having one property in Virginia valued at $3.84 million.
Al Gore has ties to four in Tennessee, Virginia and D.C. They range from $1.17 to $4.55 million.
This is the closest of the groups we looked at.
Are they less corrupt or more?
The interesting question: Should we elect the vice president?
One thing is for certain: You never want to go hunting with Cheney or have him as president.
We looked at two – the current AG Eric Holder and one of his predecessors, Alberto Gonzalez.
There’s not much of a surprise with either since to become attorney general you have to be a decent lawyer. That means a lot of money.
Holder has ties to four properties that total over $3 million, with the most expensive a home in Washington D.C. at $812,000.
Gonzalez has one property in DC that totals $770k.
One aspect of our society that will never change is how differently the other half lives.
From the time of the Founding Fathers, citizens have always been curious to see what it’s like to live with money.
What they have.
How they spend their money.
When those people are your elected officials, it’s a little different.
It makes you wonder how they could possibly know or comprehend the struggles of the people they represent when, like Bloomberg, they have 10 houses spread across New York and Colorado.
Given how difficult it was to find this information, no wonder it’s a task to find the addresses and values for members of Congress.
For now, take this information for what it’s worth.
Republicans, per this list, are business people who know how to make money.
Democrats know how to raise money when they’re still in office.
Use it to see how much the homes in your neighborhood are worth compared to yours.
See if the things you’re told by the people who represent you hold water.
Find out, in this small sample size, which of the two parties “gets it.”
Too bad it’s not the value of Limbaugh’s home – err, hotel.